Amid the ocean of California chardonnay and West Coast pinot noir that inevitably floods the world’s largest competition for American wines, there are always some telling surprises. A serious port-style wine from South Jersey? An evocative rosé from sunny Kennett Square? A deep, plush, and spicy petit verdot from the verdant vineyards of Fort Washington?
Uh-huh. It happened. I was there. And as one of the 62 judges who put on a lab coat for four days to sip, swish, and spit our way through the blind tasting of 7,000 mystery wines at the 17th annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition in this northern Sonoma agricultural town, I can tell you the proof is always inside the glass.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Just take a look at these great appetizer ideas paired with our award-winning wines:
Marinated mushrooms, green olives – Pair with Pinot Grigio, Vidal Blanc, Unoaked Chardonnay, Tango Red or Trio.
Chex Party Mix, Spicy Pub Mix – These spicy snacks taste great with our Unoaked Chardonnay or our semi-sweet Vignoles.
Pepperoni slices, salami, deli roast beef – Bring out the reds! Try Tango, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Petit Verdot.
- Blue cheese – Trust Wicked to stand up to this fragrant cheese.
- White mild cheeses – Serve with Vidal Blanc, Unoaked Chardonnay, Dry Riesling or Vignoles.
- Cheddar cheese – Pairs well with Barrel Reserve Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin or Merlot.
- Fondue (Swiss) – Pour a little of these wines into your fondue for extra flavor: Pinot Grigio, Vidal Blanc, Unoaked Chardonnay, or Barrel Reserve Chardonnay.
Dark Chocolate – Completely yummy with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Winter Spice or Wicked!
Chocolate Fondue – Crimson Sky
Creamy dips – Require a crisp dry wine like Vidal Blanc or Unoaked Chardonnay.
Chips and Just Peachy Salsa (available in our tasting room) – Help the Food Bank of South Jersey with your purchase of Just Peachy Salsa. Then pair it with Sharrott’s own Just Peachy Sangria (due back in the Tasting Room soon) – double peachy goodness!
Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies – Think peanut butter and jelly here. Try our sweet Crimson Sky.
All wines available In-Store and Online. Now through December 24, your order of 3 bottles or more ships FREE.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Sharrott Winery!
Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here with its aromas of turkey, stuffing, potatoes and pumpkin pie. And whether you are serving 2 people or 20, you will definitely need wine to go with your feast.
Let Sharrott Winery help with our recommended food and wine pairings for your Thanksgiving dinner.
These wines are light-bodied and dry with fruity aromas and a crisp finish.
Cheese and crackers – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Trio
The tannins in these dry reds will enhance the full-bodied flavors of cheddar and blue cheeses.
Swedish Meatballs – Barrel Reserve Chardonnay, Vignoles
White wines, whether oaked or sweet, enhance the spices found in this favorite recipe.
Dry Riesling is the perfect match for roasted turkey. Try Dry Rose with a fork-full of cranberry sauce. And dry wine lovers will enjoy Unoaked Chardonnay or Vidal Blanc with their feast.
If you really prefer red wine, try Trio – its light body and smooth finish complement the variety of foods on your table.
Roast Beef/Steak – Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tango, Merlot, Coeur d’Est
Dark Chocolate – Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Wicked
Chocolate Fondue – Chambourcin, Crimson Sky
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Sharrott Winery!
We are open Thanksgiving Day from 10 am to 2 pm for your last-minute holiday wine needs! All of our wines are available in our Online Store as well.
I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food! – W.C. Fields
Do you feel comfortable cooking with wine? Are you more of a recipe-follower or do you like to experiment? No matter what your experience, cooking with wine can add a whole new level of flavor to your favorite recipes. Read on to learn a few basic rules for adding wine to your favorite recipes…
Don’t Cook with Anything You Wouldn’t Drink
When it comes to cooking with wine, this is the most important rule! A good wine will elevate your cooking; think of it as a key ingredient. Don’t buy cooking wines, which often contain salt and preservatives. Whatever flaws you find in a wine will be magnified as the wine reduces during the cooking process. So start with a delicious wine for best results!
Do you have a wine in mind that you want to drink with dinner? Then use the same wine (or similar tasting varietal) in the dish you are cooking. There’s no better way to make food more wine friendly than to use it in the preparation of your dish!
Try a New Technique
Cooking with wine generally employs a few simple techniques like deglazing, marinating and poaching.
Sauces and gravy are made by deglazing a roasting pan with wine to capture the color and flavor of the caramelized bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. For added flavor, marinate meats in wine and aromatic vegetables overnight. Sweet wines are particularly suited for poaching pears and plums.
Reduce & Enrich
When cooking with wine, be sure to let it simmer for a few minutes to cook out the alcohol and concentrate the flavor. If a recipe calls for more than 2 cups of wine, reduce it by half before adding other ingredients for best results.
Soups and stews taste even better with a little Sharrott wine in the recipe! Try Eileen Sharrott’s recipe for Red Wine Chili.
- 1 ½ lbs ground beef
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 chopped bell pepper
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tbsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp red pepper
- 16 oz can diced tomatoes
- 16 oz can pinto beans
- 16 oz can kidney beans
- 2 cups Sharrott red wine
- Salt to taste
Sauté onions and peppers in olive oil. Add beef and brown. Add garlic and cook thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients, bring to boil and simmer for 3 hours. Serve with a glass of your favorite Sharrott wine!
More than 2000 wines were entered in the 2016 Indy International Wine Competition, an event that blends history and culture with modern science. Now in its 25th year, the competition is the largest independent wine contest in the United States, with participants ranging from small private winemakers to large commercial wineries.
“Winners use these medals and trophies to promote their products in a variety of ways,” according to Christian Butzke, Perdue University professor and chief judge. “Some go the traditional route of hanging the medals around their bottles in the tasting room, some add the information to their websites and social media pages. But the common factor is that these awards lend credibility to the winners’ marketing. It lets consumers know that the wine has been objectively reviewed by experts and is certified as fine wine. The feedback received from judges can be very useful for winemakers seeking to improve their processes and products and setting or responding to consumer trends.”
Sharrott is pleased to announce that all 5 wines entered in the competition this year brought home medals!
Sharrott’s Winning Wines include:
- Pinot Grigio – Gold Medal
- Vidal Blanc 2015 – Silver Medal
- Vignoles – Silver Medal
- Trio 2013 – Silver Medal
- Barrel Reserve Chardonnay 2015 – Bronze Medal
These award-winning wines are available for purchase in our Tasting Room or Online.